5 Essentials for Surviving a Hot Parisian Summer

5 Essentials for Surviving a Hot Parisian Summer

summer in Paris
fountains at Trocadero © Alexis Duclos for INSPIRELLE

It’s getting hot in here…

With the temperatures rising, summer seems finally here to stay! The shorts are on, black is out, color is everywhere, and rosé on the terrace is delightful at just about any moment of every day. After enduring a couple of Parisian summers, I’ve amassed a few necessary items. The first and number one purchase being…

Photo courtesy of author
Photo courtesy of author

1. A Fan!

Just three weeks ago, I went to Darty to replace my oven and happened to stop by the fan section where I literally snatched up the last fan on the shelves. No joke. With no air conditioning in most apartments, a fan to keep the air moving is completely mandatory — or get ready to suffer some sweaty, sleepless nights.

Essentials for Parisian Summer
Photo courtesy of author

2. Pack a Picnic

Summer is the time for picnics! Grab your crazy cute French market bag, stuff in a large scarf, or if you’re super snazzy, bring one of the picnic blankets that has a protective layer on the bottom. Prepare a chilled bottle of rosé in a cooler with lots of random foodstuffs and you’re set! Wonderful picnic spots include the Luxembourg Gardens, the groves at the end of the Tuileries right before you get to the Louvre, the Parc Buttes Chaumont, and the tip of Ile de la Cité.

Parisian Summer

3. Avène Eau Thermale

This slightly brings me back to my childhood in Texas, when the misters at baseball games or amusement parks were crazy refreshing and so much fun to walk through. Well this is like that — a mini mister in a can. Avène Thermal Spring Water is soothing and anti-irritating, and has so many uses, from sunburn relief to setting makeup during hot summers, for travel or after exercise. I also love that it’s one of those pharmacy secrets that the French have been using for years.

Parisian Summer Essentials
Photo courtesy of author

4. Mosquito Plugin

I have never seen these in the US (maybe because I didn’t see a need for them?) but these are diffusers that you plug into an outlet that releases an insect repellent. It’s way better and safer than a candle as well. The one I have is Zen’sect, which lasts about to 60 nights and protects against mosquitos and tiger mosquitos. It’s also safe for kids. I can happily report back that it works, which is a big thumbs up because normally I’m eaten alive during the summer!

Parisian Summer Essentials
Compas Café in Paris. Photo courtesy of author

5. Terrace Relief

When those temperatures soar, all I can wish for you is to stay cool. One last tip —consider leaving the stuffy city and enjoy a day trip away! I highly recommend a visit to the Château Raray (an impossible French word to say). It’s north of Paris in the direction of Chantilly and was in the old French 1940s classic, La Belle et la Bête. I’ll leave you on one last teaser… I’ve heard that they have brunch for just 10 euros, wine by the glass for 2.50€… and a lovely terrace.

Stay cool, everyone!

Ever attracted to all things sweet, Molly left her marketing career in Texas to study pastry at Le Cordon Bleu Paris in 2013. She worked for several pastry shops in Texas including Bisous Bisous Patisserie, voted best bakery in Dallas in 2015, before returning to France. Since then she has helped open a Mexican restaurant (her other love) and been a pastry chef at Chateau de Gudanes. Currently she is in Paris working at a culinary school and eating as many pastries as humanly possible. All in the name of research of course! You can follow her musings on daily life in Paris and catch a recipe or two at her blog: www.ToffeeBitsandChocolateChips.com


  1. Don’t overlook the shady Parc Montsouris in the 14th or the Parc Monceau in the 8th. Both shady and welcoming. The RER line B will take you to the Parc de Sceaux and from the end of the line it is just a 2km walk to the Chateau of Dampierre. Great day trips for rambunctious kids.


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